Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Muslimgauze on Metafilter

The veiled sound of a secretive world

Muslimgauze was the sound of an angry Middle East, a prolific source of music dark, spacious and smothering. Tension was a constant theme not only in the music but in the packaging. (For example, Betrayal shows the hands of Yassir Arafat and Yitzak Rabin, and guns, knives, and news photos of an Arab world at war were a common motif in titles and sleeve art.) However, the music wasn't the usual agitprop fare: Music meant to rile a public to a cause isn't normally pigeonholed as ambient, electronica or musique concrete. But the band, hidden from public view, was rumored to donate proceeds to Palestinian terrorists, and that they were eventually silenced by Mossad. Despite the prodigious output -- issuing almost a hundred EPs and albums between 1983 and 1998, over a hundred more since -- limited distribution and perpetual obscurity ensured the rumors were easier to find than the music. While the facts about Muslimgauze have little in common with the fictions, they are, if anything, stranger...

CD: Youssoupha Sidibe (kora)

Kora Master in the Spirit

Youssoupha Sidibe

Xelcom (Self-released, 2008)

Senegal’s Youssoupha Sidibe has played his kora (21-stringed West African harp) alongside artists as varied as Matisyahu, Bela Fleck, India Arie and Midnite, but on this meditative release he’s put aside crossovers and dug deep into his African roots. Xelcom consists of six lengthy tracks on which the kora typically establishes a softly attention-grabbing tone before settling into swaying riffs joined by Sidibe’s hushed but from-the-gut singing and occasional percussion.

Each song is one of praise, specifically from a Sufi devotional perspective as practiced by the members of Baay Fall, a mystical Senegalese sect dedicated to farming, community service and ever-greater connection with the Creator. The virtues of love, goodness and work are extolled, and the medicinal way the music gets under your skin makes you believe that such qualities can indeed make a difference.

All the vocal and instrumental sounds heard here are those of Sidibe, who’s not looking to blow anyone away with his kora virtuosity though it’s clear he could do so. Rather, he’s made a stripped-down album of spiritual music close to his own heart and likely to create a stirring in yours. Heavenly.

Buy the CD:

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Old footage of Tibetan lamas and yogis

Historic, beautiful and interesting footage of Tibetan lamas and yogis teaching Buddhism, just 4 years after their escape from Tibet, when the Chinese invaded in 1959. "In 1963, for the first time, the Dalai Lama allowed a Westerner, Desjardins, to film the heart of the Tibetan tradition." Some meditation instruction taught by yogis: Tantra as practiced in Tibet, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Lerab's Youtube channel has all kinds of video gems for those interested in Buddhist and Hindu spiritual practice.
Buddhism and Tantrism: "two films were originally shown on French television in the 1960's and are a wonderful testimony, revealing some of Tibet's foremost masters as they were then. It includes footage of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, the Sixteenth Karmapa, Dudjom Rinpoche, Ling Rinpoche, Chatral Rinpoche, Sakya Trizin, and the yogis Abo Rinpoche and Lopon Sonam Zangpo. The original sixties commentaries have been retained, even though it may sound a bit dated in places." "There are unusual scenes of yogis performing preparatory meditation exercises."

About Arnaud Desjardins, born 18 June 1925. Books he's written.

Also on Lerab's YouTube channel:

The Tibetan Book of the Dead #1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

From Lerab's blog:
"A Short History of Bön - Extracted from the pamphlet "Tibetan gYung-Drung Bön Monastery in India," published by the Yungdrung Bön Monastic Center, Solan, 1983. Translated by Tadeusz Skorupski."

Friday, 14 November 2008

Petition against internet censorship in Australia

Stop Australian Internet Censorship
19098 signatures so far! [view all signatures]
Petition created by: Michael Meloni

Australian Senator, Stephen Conroy, is set to introduce mandatory Internet filtering in 2008. This petition has been organised to put an end to the filtering in Australia, before it begins!

Existing reports (some even conducted by the Australian Government) show that ISPs and customers will be forced to pay if mandatory filtering is introduced. The 2003 Ovum report on filtering commissioned by the Howard Government even finds that smaller ISPs will not be able to absorb the costs like large ISPs.

Furthermore, industry groups have all warned that the filtering can and will be bypassed. Why waste money on something that isn't going to work?

Show your support by signing this petition. Show Mr Conroy and Mr Rudd that Australia does not require a Government babysitter.

This petition will be forwarded to all politicians concerned.

Friday, 31 October 2008

Australia to implement mandatory internet censorship

This is absolutely shameful!!! I have been overseas and only just heard about this now. I'm really hoping this is still just a proposal and that no bills have been passed yet, and that the people of Australia will strongly protest against any mandatory censorship of the internet.

NB There is a petition against Australian Internet Censorship on TIG Petitions.

From Herald Sun...

AUSTRALIA will join China in implementing mandatory censoring of the internet under plans put forward by the Federal Government.

The revelations emerge as US tech giants Google, Microsoft and Yahoo, and a coalition of human rights and other groups unveiled a code of conduct aimed at safeguarding online freedom of speech and privacy.

The government has declared it will not let internet users opt out of the proposed national internet filter.

The plan was first created as a way to combat child pronography and adult content, but could be extended to include controversial websites on euthanasia or anorexia.

Communications minister Stephen Conroy revealed the mandatory censorship to the Senate estimates committee as the Global Network Initiative, bringing together leading companies, human rights organisations, academics and investors, committed the technology firms to "protect the freedom of expression and privacy rights of their users".

Mr Conroy said trials were yet to be carried out, but "we are talking about mandatory blocking, where possible, of illegal material."

The net nanny proposal was originally going to allow Australians who wanted uncensored access to the web the option of contacting their internet service provider to be excluded from the service.

Human Rights Watch has condemned internet censorship, and argued to the US Senate "there is a real danger of a Virtual Curtain dividing the internet, much as the Iron Curtain did during the Cold War, because some governments fear the potential of the internet, (and) want to control it"

Groups including the System Administrators Guild of Australia and Electronic Frontiers Australia have attacked the proposal, saying it would unfairly restrict Australians' access to the web, slow internet speeds and raise the price of internet access.

EFA board member Colin Jacobs said it would have little effect on illegal internet content, including child pornography, as it would not cover file-sharing networks.

"If the Government would actually come out and say we're only targeting child pornography it would be a different debate," he said.

The technology companies' move, which follows criticism that the companies were assisting censorship of the internet in nations such as China, requires them to narrowly interpret government requests for information or censorship and to fight to minimise cooperation.

The initiative provides a systematic approach to "work together in resisting efforts by governments that seek to enlist companies in acts of censorship and surveillance that violate international standards", the participants said.

In a statement, Yahoo co-founder and chief executive Jerry Yang welcomed the new code of conduct.

"These principles provide a valuable roadmap for companies like Yahoo operating in markets where freedom of expression and privacy are unfairly restricted," he said.

"Yahoo was founded on the belief that promoting access to information can enrich people's lives, and the principles we unveil today reflect our determination that our actions match our values around the world."

Yahoo was thrust into the forefront of the online rights issue after the Californian company helped Chinese police identify cyber dissidents whose supposed crime was expressing their views online.

China exercises strict control over the internet, blocking sites linked to Chinese dissidents, the outlawed Falun Gong spiritual movement, the Tibetan government-in-exile and those with information on the 1989 Tiananmen massacre.

A number of US companies, including Microsoft, Cisco, Google and Yahoo, have been hauled before the US Congress in recent years and accused of complicity in building the "Great Firewall of China".

The Australian Christian Lobby, however, has welcomed the proposals.

Managing director Jim Wallace said the measures were needed.

"The need to prevent access to illegal hard-core material and child pornography must be placed above the industry's desire for unfettered access," Mr Wallace said.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Musician jokes

Via Earthlingz...

More at http://www9.plala.or.jp/edurbrow/musicjokes.html

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic
hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs.
There's also a negative side." - Hunter S Thompson

Q: What's the definition of a gentleman?
A: One who knows how to play the saxophone, but doesn't.

Q: What's the difference between a 14" pizza and a musician?
A: A 14" pizza can feed a family of four.

Q: What's the difference between a saxophone and a lawnmower? A: You can
tune a lawnmower and the owner's neighbors don't mind if you don't
return the sax when you borrow it.

Q: How many sopranos does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Three: one to change the bulb, one to kick the ladder out from under
her, and one to say, "I knew it was too high for you, dear."

Q: What's the difference between a soprano and a rottweiler ?
A: Lipstick.

Q: How do lute players spend their time?
A: They spend 80% of their time tuning and 20% if their time playing out
of tune.

Q: What do lead trumpet players use for birth control?
A: Their personality.

Q: What is the definition of perfect pitch?
A: When you get the viola into the toilet without hitting the sides.

Q: What is the difference between a violist and a terrorist?
A: Terrorists have sympathizers.

Q: How do you get a viola section to play spiccato?
A: Write a whole note with "solo" above it.

Q: What is the difference between a dressmaker and an alto?
A: The dressmaker tucks up the frills.

Q: How can you tell if a violin is out of tune?
A: The bow is moving.

Q: How are a bagpipe player and blind javelin thrower alike?
A: Neither has to be very good to get everybody's attention...

Q: Where is a good place to practice the bagpipes?
A: North Dakota.

A few definitions:

Crescendo: A reminder to the performer that he has been playing too loudly.
Discord: Not to be confused with Datcord.
Espressivo: Close eyes and play with a wide vibrato.
Glissando: The musical equivalent of slipping on a banana peel. Also, a
technique adopted by string players for difficult runs.
Lamentoso: With handkerchiefs.
Mean-Tone Temperament: One's state of mind when everybody's trying to
tune at the same time.
Organum: You may not participate in the Lai without one.
Stops: Something Bach did not have on his organ.

Q: How do you get 5 oboes in tune?
A: Shoot 4 of them.
Q: What are burning oboes used for?
A: To set bassoons on fire.

Q: What happens if you sing country music backwards?
A: You get your job and your wife back.

Q:What do you say to the banjo player in the three piece suit?
A:Will the defendant please rise.

Q:What's the definition of a minor second?
A:Two flutes playing a unison

Opera is when a guy gets stabbed in the back and instead of bleeding, he

Q: What is the difference between a clarinet and an onion?
A: People cry when you chop an onion into pieces.

Q: What is the difference between an accordion and a trampoline?
A: You take off your shoes before jumping on the trampoline.

Q: What do you call someone who hangs around a bunch of musicians?
A: A drummer.

Q: There's a five pound note on the floor. Which of a thrash guitarist,
a drummer who keeps good time and a drummer who keeps bad time picks it up?
A: The drummer who keeps bad time: the other drummer doesn't exist and
the thrash guitarist doesn't care about notes anyway.

What did the drummer get on his I.Q. test?

If thine enemy wrong thee, buy each of his children a drum.

Q: What do you call a drummer with no girlfriend?
A: Homeless.

Q: How do you know when a drummer is at your door?
A: The knocking speeds up.

Q: How do you tell when a singer is at your door?
A: He can't find the key and doesn't know when to come in.

Q:What's the inscription on dead blues-singers tombstones?
A:"I didn't wake up this morning..."

Q:What do a vacuum cleaner and an electric guitar have in common?
A:When you plug them in, they suck.

Q. What does it mean when the guitar player is drooling out of both
sides of his mouth?
A. The stage is level.

Q: How do you make a guitarist play quieter?
A: Put a sheet of music in front of him.
Q: How do you make him stop?
A: Put notes on it!

Q: How many guitarists does it take to read a page of sheet music?
A: When you find one who can, ask.

Q: What do you call a guitarist's voice mail?
A: Mommy.

Q- What do you do when a guitar player comes to your door?
A- Pay him for the pizza and shut the door quickly

Q- How many producers does it take to change a light bulb?
A- What do you think?

How many bass players does it take to change a light bulb?
One, but the guitarist had to show him how first.

SON: Dad, when I grow up I want to be a musician.
DAD: Well you know son, you can't do both.

Q: What's the difference between a frog driving down the road in a car
and a trombone player driving down the road in a car?
A: The frog might be driving to a gig.

Q: What's the difference between a violinist and a dog?
A: A dog knows when to stop scratching.

Q: How do you make a chain saw sound like a baritone sax?
A: Add vibrato.

Q: What's the difference between a charging bull and a symphony conductor?
A: The bull has the horns in front and the asshole in back.

What do you get when you drop a piano down a mine shaft?
A flat minor.

A note left for a pianist from his wife:
Gone Chopin, (have Liszt), Bach in a Minuet.

Someone requested Victor Borge that he play something by Bach, to which
Victor replied, "Which one, Johann Sebastian or Offen?"


EARTHLINGZ Homepage: http://earthlingz.net
"After one look at this planet any visitor from outer space would say "I want to see the manager."
-William S. Burroughs-

Friday, 12 September 2008

Miles from India

Thanks to Baz Brown for this one...

Miles from India
(The Weekend Planet: Saturday 13 September 2008)
URL: http://www.abc.net.au/rn/weekendplanet/stories/2008/2347284.htm
Miles from India presents the music of Miles Davis, as never before seriously attempted. The late 'prince of darkness' had a following in India. Indian influences were at times audible in his recordings and Indian instruments and/or players occasionally present. But this is the first full-on collaboratiion between distinguished Davis alumni and leading musicians from the Subcontinent. One of many delightful surprises: an All Blues for north and south Indian classical virtuosi (Hindustani lutenist/Carnatic hand-percussionist, respectively, on sitar and ghatam) plus some Davis 'old scholars', including the drummer who'd played on Davis's original nearly fifty years earlier. No-one replicates their own or anyone else's previous efforts.

Two good places to discover the story behind Miles from India:

Shen says: Searching Youtube for "Miles from India" turned up a few tracks, of which this one is not so bad IMHO (generally I found there are too many musicians for any music to come out):

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Raka Mukherjee on Youtube

Raka Mukherjee, a wonderful khayal singer who I was fortunate to accompany on her Australian tour a few years back, has put a number of her performances on Youtube:

Raka Mukherjee Thumri part 1

Raka Mukherjee Thumri part 2

Raka Mukherjee Thumri part 3

Raka Mukherjee Dadra (part 1)

Raka Mukherjee Dadra (part 2)

Raka Mukherjee - Rag Bihag (part 1)

Raka Mukherjee - Rag Bihag (part 2)

Raka Mukherjee - Rag Bihag (part 3)

Raka Mukherjee - Rag Bihag (part 4)

Raka Mukherjee - Rag Bihag (part 5)

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

New Debapriya-Samanwaya CD

Hello Everybody,
Hereisour new release by TIMES MUSIC "SAMVAAD" under the series Unheard Jugalbandis after the marvellous response of our solo albums SILK and IRIDESCENT by RAGARANGA in USA. http://stores.ebay.com/RagaRanga,

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Monday, 11 August 2008

CD: The Sabri Family - 5 Ragas (sarangi)

The Sabri Family

5 Ragas (ARC Music, 2008)

The sarangi is a beautiful Indian musical instrument. It is bowed and produces a spacey evocative sound that makes you dream and wonder. The liner notes on the CD 5 Ragas explain how a poet, inspired by the hypnotizing beauty of the sarangi's sound, said: "The Sarangi? No, because of its innumerable beautiful tone colours, it is verily the ‘Saurangi’– Meaning full of hundreds of colors".

On 5 Ragas, three generations of sarangi maestros perform together, accompanied by tabla. The four piece ensemble is formed by members of the Sabri Family: Ustad Sabri Khan (sarangi), Kamal Sabri (sarangi), Suhail Yusuf Khan (sarangi), Sarvar Sabri (tabla).

The Sabri Family selected a collection of ragas (also spelled raags) representing various moods and seasons. "Raag Megh" is played during the rainy monsoon season in India and has a romantic mood. "Raag Mian Ki Malhar" is an evening raga. On "Tabla Solo Shikhar Tala" Savar Sabri uses 17 beats, which is an unusual time cycle. "Raag Adana" is a night raga, and "Raag Pancham" is a rarely heard morning raga.

The CD comes with extensive liner notes, in four languages, about The Sabri Family and the sarangi.

Buy the CD:

Friday, 8 August 2008

I Love Tibet Loop Collection

I Love Tibet (Discovery Sounds, 2008) is a classy collection of Tibetan samples with a specially included movie. The faithful performances of sacred instruments & voices. In the Tibet Autonomous Region under the occupation of China, extreme human rights violations have continued, and their traditional Buddhist music is also in peril to disappear. Soon after his arrival in India in 1959, Dalai Lama re-organized the Tibetan Government-in-Exile, and their tradition and culture are still maintained by many Tibetan exiles settled in the town.

To record the genuine Tibetan samples on this library, Discovery Sounds visited the refugee settlement under the Tibetan Government-in-Exile located in Dharamsala, Northern India.

I Love Tibet is a CD-ROM with 644 MB of 16-bit/44.1kHz recordings of loops, one-shots, and multi samples made using a varied cross-section of instruments – indispensable sacred percussion, wind instruments and sutras used in Tibetan Buddhist music - together with some more traditional percussion, string and wind instruments and Tibetan Opera which are familiar to Tibetan people.

Users will enjoy the instrumental performances included as a special movie as well as the live performance by monks in a temple on the disc.

Thre collection is available from www.discoverysound.com/en/DFSD700.

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Save the Frogs

SAVE THE FROGS! is the nonprofit organization founded by biologist and musician Kerry Kriger. Their website features info on amphibian extinctions, threats to frogs, ways to help save frogs, cool frog facts and pictures, and a Frogs of Australia poster and bumper stickers being sold to raise money for amphibian conservation projects.

Sunday, 27 July 2008

CD: Tanya Tagaq (Inuit throat singing + Bjork)

Tanya Tagaq

Auk/Blood (Ipecac Records, 2008)

After the 2005 release of her first debut CD Sinaa, Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq continues to dazzle audiences with her ongoing collaboration with Icelandic singer/songwriter Björk in recording the soundtrack to Matthew Barney's film Drawing Restraint 9, appearing on her ...

Monday, 21 July 2008

CD: Rough Guide to the Music of Romanian Gypsies

The Rough Guide music series has a new title focuses on Gypsy music. The Rough Guide to the Music of Romanian Gypsies (RGNET1210) represents the music of Romania’s 2.5 million Roma (Gypsy) population. Romania has many of the world’s top Eastern European Gypsy musicians, including Taraf de Haidouks, Fanfare Ciocąrlia, Mahala Raï Banda, Toni Iordachi and Gabi Lunca. From energetic brass bands and mesmerizing cimbalom players to legendary haunting fiddlers, The Rough Guide to the Music of Romanian Gypsies presents the internationally acclaimed performers together with renowned local artists...


Wednesday, 16 July 2008

CD: Introducing Hanggai (Mongolia)


Introducing Hanggai (World Music Network, 2008)

I’m always elated to hear a group of musicians rediscovering a lost or faded musical tradition, and I’m also a little puzzled because the music produced is usually so entrancing or just downright enthralling that I just can’t imagine why the tradition ever fell out of fashion. No example could be truer than that of Introducing/World Music Network’s release of Introducing Hanggai.


Sunday, 6 July 2008

CD: Baaba Maal - On the Road (acoustic)

London, UK - The clearest evidence of Baaba Maal's remarkable shows comes with 'Baaba Maal on the Road' a selection of live performances collated from concerts around the world over the past ten years.

Although Maal's music has embraced everything from electric bands to 70-piece orchestras, it is his intimate acoustic performances which, for many, properly encompass the very real contagious nature of Maal's work. It is this raw emotional edge that is showcased on the eight tracks featured on this album.

Included are live versions of a few of the finest songs in Maal's repertoire plus three collectors items a song called Iyango' which has never been recorded before, together with 'Farba', a tune that's appeared only on an Africa-...


Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Tibet2Timbuk2 are Q Song finalists!

Tibet2Timbuk2's song "White Crane" (aka "Crane Song") has been selected as a finalist in the World division of Q Song 2008!

2008 Q Song Finalists Announced: Queensland Songwriters Exposed: First Announcement 1 Jul 2008
Q Music is thrilled to announce the finalists for Q Song 2008.

Judges faced an enormously difficult task with almost 1400 songs entered in Q Song 2008.

Each song was judged anonymously (track title only) by a team of dedicated music industry representatives from The Courier-Mail, triple j, ABC, 989 fm, Musicadium, Australian Music Biz, overcranked, Ward 69 Records, dew-process, 4zzzfm, QUT and APRA.

Judges were once again overwhelmed by the enormous talent of Queensland songwriters and the high quality of entries.

Executive officer Denise Foley said “The quality of entries continues to increase from year to year, and in this, our third year, there were some world class songs entered. It is a huge job to coordinate everyone who participates in both the short listing and final judging process and we really appreciate the efforts of all involved.”

The winners will be announced at The Q Song Awards night to be held at The Tivoli, August 12, 2008.
Tickets for this event are now on sale! Purchase tickets online at www.qmusic.com.au/qsong .
A limited amount of tickets are available to the public for the event.

Without any further ado, the 2008 Q Song finalists are:

Song Title - Artist - Writers

Primary School

Love Chime - Woo Woos - Jazz D’Arcy
No Surprise - Stephanie Burns - Stephanie Burns
Banana Cake - Emma Hocking - Emma Hocking
Believe - Jenna Dearness-Dark - Jenna Dearness-Dark

Secondary School

Poor Boy - Courtney Young - Courtney Young
The Boat Song - Shaun Pryor - Shaun Pryor
Insomnia - Emma-Louise Lobb - Emma-Louise Lobb
Darkness - David Richards - David Richards

Gospel Spiritual

Ode To Peace - Mr Rascal - Christian Duell
For You - Dave Saxby - Dave Saxby
The Family Song - Tyrone Noonan - Tyrone Noonan
Regenerate Me - Emmanuel Worship - Pat Keady


Ten Paces Away - The Gin Club - Ben Salter
Gun And Your Friends - Bowser - O. Mitter/B. Weyuton/ N. Williams/G. Wallis
Gifthorse - Little Vegas and the Fuzz Parade - S Lawrie/B. Dean/W. O’Brien/P.O’Brien.
Untied Laces - The Faze - The Faze


Honey - Chris Pickering - Chris Pickering
Strawberry Wine - The John Steel Singers - Scott Bromiley / Tim Morrissey
Shake - Tara Simmons - Tara Simmons
Gravity and Grace - The Brave - Mathew Griffith, Roger Van Raalte, Michael Mann & Caleb James


Go - My Fiction - E.Robinson, M. Willmett, J.Laubscher, D.Murphy, S.Rigly
Suicide Tuesday - Andrew Kennedy - Andrew Kennedy
Take Time Take Time - Amy Cushway - Amy Cushway
Til You Come Home - James Grehan - James Grehan

Blues and Roots

Yellow Moon - 8 Ball Aitken - 8 Ball Aitken
Judgement Day - Gerry O'Brien - Gerry O'Brien
What Do I Tell the Newborn Child - Michael David - Michael David
Miss Mayhem - James Grehan - James Grehan


Mari - Yemanja - Edson Gazani & Anita Fernandes
Crane Song - Tibet2Timbuk2 - Tenzin Choegyal
Mira Que Bonita Eres - Andrew Veivers - Andrew Veivers
Trish's Wish - Dan Cosgrove - Dan Cosgrove


Veil of Dolour - bloodredskies - Hayden Mitten
Dearly Beloved - Torn Asunder - Torn Asunder
Home Now - New Rocky Cowboy - Cummins/ Kirkbride/ Tighe/ McPherson
Mower - Butcher Birds - S. Coleman/J. Walker/J. Nilson/S. Tronc


Perfect - Katrina Burgoyne - Katrina Burgoyne
Broken Wing - Chris Pickering - Chris Pickering
Dusty Boots - Shari Williams - Shari Williams
Maybe We've Met Before - Steve Grady - Steve Grady

Folk Ballad

Old Ceylon Road - Asa Broomhall - Asa Broomhall
That's the Reason - Dan Parsons - Dan Parsons
You, Me and The Sea - The Gin Club - Ben Salter
Armistice Day - Noel Gardner Alex Bridge - Noel Gardner

Hip Hop

Orphan's Voices - Mantist - Mantist
Keep An Eye Out - Pure Product - J.Zonday/D.McEintosh
Common Ground - Common Ground - Contact Crew
Don't Bring Me Down - Surecut Kids - Sensai and Surecut Kids


Till You Come Home - James Grehan - (Carrara )
Mira Que Bonita Eres - Andrew Vievers - (Coolum Beach)
The McMenamins - The McMenamins - (Cairns)
Fear the Fury of a Patient Man - PJ Weston (Mt Tamborine)

Electronic New Music

Watching it Unfold - Lawrence English - Lawrence English
All She left - Christopher Robin - C. McGarry/B.McLauchlan
Little Beat - Dizzygotheca - H.Middleton/ A. Smith
Retro 80’s Video Game Theme - Oxford Parker - John Parker

The Courier- Mail People’s Choice Awards

Honey - Chris Pickering - Chris Pickering
Strawberry Wine - The John Steel Singers - Scott Bromiley / Tim Morrissey
Orange Red - Emma Dean - Emma Dean
Small Town - Dana Hassall - Dana Hassall
Til You Come Home - James Grehan - James Grehan
Ten Paces Away - The Gin Club - Ben Salter
Jaqueline - Brianna Carpenter - Brianna Carpenter
Too, Somebody - Jackie Marshall - Jackie Marshall

Please Note the nominees in the following Categories will be announced shortly:

Song of the Year
Published Song of the Year
The Grant McLennan Lifetime Achievement Award

To see the full list of finalists and listen to their songs, head to www.qmusic.com.au/qsong

ALL MEDIA INQUIRIES TO: jim@qmusic.com.au Phone : ( 07) 3257 0013

Monday, 30 June 2008

Ishkur's Guide to Electronic Music

Wow, I just found an amazing map of all electronic music styles: Ishkur's Guide to Electronic Music.
And there I was thinking it was all techno...
For each of 7 broad divisions (House, Trance, Techno, Breakbeat, Jungle, Hardcore, Downtempo), there is a map of the evolution of various sub-genres, with description, history and samples of each.
Everything from Musique Concrete in the 50s (ancestor of Ambient, Glitch and Nu Jazz) to Oldskool Rave Hardcore, Buttrock Goa and J-Pop.

CD: Rough Guide to the Music of Japan

San Francisco (California), UK - Japan is no longer perceived as home to the worst excesses of idol pop or inaccessible traditional music. In truth, Japanese musicians have for years been skilful at blending the traditional with the pop and coming up with some of the world's craziest concoctions. The Rough Guide to the Music of Japan (RGNET1211CD)encompasses sounds from ancient gagaku to today’s hottest roots acts, mixed with quintessential enka and post-war boogie-woogie – a compilation to blow away any lingering preconceptions.

Contemporary Japanese musicians excel in creating new combinations by mixing traditional sounds and instruments ...


Saturday, 7 June 2008

CD: Mali Rough Guide

Malian Musical Brilliance

Various Artists

The Rough Guide to the Music of Mali (World Music Network, 2008)

Lately Malian musicians have cut a powerful swath through the music scene. With artists like Bassekou Kouyate, with his recent BBC World Music Award win, or Amadou and Mariam's hit album Dimanche à Bamako or the following the late Ali Farka Toure built on his sh...


Friday, 30 May 2008

Cultures at the far edge of the world

I really recommend the talk by Wade Davis mentioned in this post from TED.

Unbelievable photo of one of the world's last uncontacted tribes

If you've seen Wade Davis's unforgettable 2004 TED Talk -- where he evokes the magic of the world's cultural diversity, and speaks so eloquently about the alarming rate with which cultures and languages are dying -- then you might find this photo as heart-stopping as I did.


It's so surreal, I thought at first it must be a hoax. But Reuters just picked the story up, and I'm going to assume they did my fact-checking for me. The photo shows members of one of the world’s last uncontacted tribes, who were spotted and photographed from the air in a remote corner of the Amazon rainforest near the Brazil-Peru border.

Survival International, an advocacy group for tribal people, released the photos on their website and quotes Jose Carlos dos Reis Meirelles Junior, who works for the Brazilian government’s Indian affairs department: "We did the overflight to show their houses, to show they are there, to show they exist ...This is very important because there are some who doubt their existence."

"What is happening in this region is a monumental crime against the natural world, the tribes, the fauna and is further testimony to the complete irrationality with which we, the 'civilized' ones, treat the world," Meirelles said.

Apparently, more than 100 uncontacted tribes remain worldwide, with half living in Brazil or Peru. Extraordinary.

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Tribute to Pt Kishan Maharaj

Pandit Kishan Maharaj -
The end of an Era

Kavita Chhibber shares Part I of her tribute to Tabla Maestro Pandit Kishan Maharaj on her webcast

‘When legends like these leave, their presence, their fragrance leaves with them”
- Ustad Amjad Ali Khan on the passing away of Pandit Kishan Maharaj

Majestic, royal, incomparable, romantic, a hard task master, brilliant, innovative - words tumble out like a flow of his resonant bols, from the lips of all those who have known him or played with him. Pandit Kishan Maharaj, who passed away this month truly was the last the of tabla legends of an era that is slowly coming to an end with the passing away of the golden greats of Hindustani classical music. And no matter what the current music maestros of the modern era may say, the royal elegance, the integrity and dedication with which these stalwarts of India’s rich cultural heritage took to the stage, cannot be replicated....

Monday, 19 May 2008

News from Indo-Japanese Music Exchange Association

from T M Hoffman / Indo-Japanese Music Exchange Association

Dear Friends of India and Japan

Please visit our newly constructed website www.ijmea.com for reports and photos etc of recent projects undertaken in both India and Japan with the support of Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Agency for Cultural Affairs, Japan Foundation, Japan Airlines, Indian Council for Cultural Relations, India Center, Air India, American Institute of Indian Studies and others, and with the kind cooperation of Embassies and Consulates of both nations.

We are pleased to report successful completion of our India-Japan Friendship Year tour of South India with four artists from Japan in four co-operative concerts with four exemplary artists of Carnatic music in the four cities of Bangalore, Chennai, Kochi and Thrissur.
Sample media reports:

Tampura meets shakuhachi! New India Press full-page story17 Mar 08

Best of both the worlds - Deccan Herald report 11 Mar 08 Bangalore

and from a recent two-month all-India tour --
charity concert w/eight Carnatic musicians in Visakhapatnam 31 Jan 08
(flyer & news) (review/photo)

Grateful to God, Guru & Gharwalli, I continue to be on the move musically with neither fanfare nor apology, including my Asian music course again this semester at Keio University, also Nada Yoga sessions.

Please note that I will giving programs - performance, lecture-demonstration, lecture, workshop - throughout India again in summer, in USA and Europe in autumn, in Philippines and again India next winter. Please contact me if you are interested.

None of this is off-the-wall haphazard fusion experimentation. Our efforts are recognized by commentary such as 'very significant contribution to tradition in the contemporary world' (pls see the National Network of Education, India interview, in our website).

Best wishes!

Tim Hoffman
Sangeet Acharya (awarded 12 Feb 08)

T. M. Hoffman, performing artist and ethnomusicologist
BA (USA & Japan), MA (USA), Visharad & Sangeet Acharya (India)
Senior Performing and Creative Artist Fellow - 2006-2008
American Institute of Indian Studies AIIS (USA & India)
Lecturer in Musicology and Linguistics
Keio University & Musashino Academia Musicae (Japan)
Director, Indo-Japanese Music Exchange Association (estab. 1989)
e-mail: tmhoffmus21@yahoo.com
www.ijmea.com/ (new complete website, in Japanese & English)

---------(Japanese version)---------

演奏家・教育家・日印音楽交流会代表T M Hoffmanです。アメリカとアジア各国の先生方に深く感謝をしながらアジア音楽の演奏・教育・国際交流活動に努めて忙しくしております。 http://www.ijmea.com/

「日印音楽交流会」(1989年創立)の本客的なwebsite http://www.ijmea.com/ 開設のお知らせです。最近の活動については、そのなかで、インドにての「筝によるインド音楽奏法開発企画」(2006年7月-2008年1月、米国インド学会との協同長期企画)の第三期(2007年12月-2008年2月)および日本より4人の演奏家による3月08日-22日間の「日印交流年」南インド公演旅行(日本外務省と AOTS海外技術者研修協会の後援企画)の写真などもご覧になれます。南インドの神父さんhttp://www.thesingingpriest.com/ との共演などありました。

*“Tampura meets shakuhachi!
New India Press full-page story on 17 Mar 08 Cochin concert  
*“Best of both the worlds” - Deccan Herald 11 Mar 08 Bangalore

インド最大の知的障害者施設Lebenshilfe Indiaの支援日印協同公演
*charity concert Visakhapatnam, AP (India) 31 Jan 08
(flyer & news) (review/photo)

そして、2008年2月12日に、インド現地にて全国芸術連盟より敬称Sangeet Acharya「音楽聖人」を豪華な儀式のなかにて授かりました。より忠実に「音道」Nada Yogaに努められる意志になる気掛けともなりました。



T. M. Hoffman  演奏家(北インド古典声楽、天竺尺八、筝)

Monday, 5 May 2008

CD: Shastriya Syndicate (Purbayan Chatterjee)

Shastriya Syndicate

Syndicated (Sense World Music, 2008)

Shastriya Syndicate is Purbayan Chatterjee's project. On the outstanding CD Syndicated (Sense World Music) he has brought together a group of young Indian masters, who are bringing new blood to Indian classical music. The virtuoso musicians fuse the music of North India (HIndistani) and South Inda (Carnatic).

While many Indian artists follow the traditional format of ...


Friday, 2 May 2008

CD: The Teak Project (Indo-Jazz)

The Teak Project (First Hand, 2008)

Second generation Indo-Jazz sitar player Jonathan Mayer is the son of Indo-Jazz pioneer John Maye, which maintains the tradition nicely. The devilish complexity of the music does nothing to detract from its sweetness and serenity.

Justin Quinn is a fleet-fingered guitarist worthy to fill John McLaughlin's sandals.

Tabla-player Neil Craig provides the impetus, and transforms the gentle acoustic music with the serpentine-like beats of the raga.

In short, The Teak Project offers a near-perfect realization of Indo-Jazz, yet hints at further expansion: the floating impressionism of Outnumbered By One recalls the work of Belgian guitarist Philip Catherine. Lovely stuff.

Full story here...

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Namgyal Lhamo's Free Tibet tattoo

As the struggle for a Free Tibet continues, Netherlands based Tibetan singer Namgyal Lhamo has pushed the cause to the forefront of the artistic community with a music video from her upcoming album 'Highland Supernova' which be released in less than a month from now. A week after Namgyal Lhamo hit the headlines with a cover photo that screamed Free Tibet in the Bangkok Post's magazine "Guru,” the team that was filming the title song "Aalayeah-Highland Supernova" for the new album came up with a concept that has already raised eyebrows across Asia.

The use of a tattoo to convey a global message engraved on Lhamo's back is the cause of the stir. The tattoo, designed by award-winning Tibetan/Bu...


Monday, 21 April 2008


Ever since I first heard mbira from Zimbabwe almost 30 years ago (via this record), I've been a lover of that enchanting, delicate and intricate music. It's only recently, however, that many of us who aren't actually players of the mbira could see just how the instrument is played: Holding the mbira, and scales - Lesson One - Two - Three - Four, and more and more. And here are some recommended mbira players and groups with MySpace Music pages worth checking out: Spirit Talk Mbira - Mbira Oracle - Kunzawa Mbira Group - Joel Laviolette.
Special honors to Thomas Mapfumo, who, many years back, took the mbira style and spirit and adapted it to electric guitars, in an inspired and joyous fusion of the ancient and the modern.

This page from All About Jazz reviews the Nonesuch label's releases of Shona mbira music.

This YouTube clip features a tune from another of the Nonesuch releases, The Soul of Mbira, a collection of recordings made by ethnomusicologist and author Paul Berliner. Recommended.

There'll no doubt be plenty of mbira music to be heard at Zimfest 2008, this coming July in Tacoma, Washington.

Finally, here's Dangurangu. For your ears only.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

CD: Toumani Diabate - Mande Variations

Toumani Diabate

The Mande Variations (Nonesuch, 2008)

Son of Sidiki Diabate, one the most celebrated kora players , Toumani Diabate has blazed a career worthy of the Diabate name and legacy of this family of Mande griot musicians from Mali. After twenty years since his first solo and debut recording Kaira and countless collaborations with stellar artists ...

[Full article click here]

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Petition: Indigenous Studies For All Australian Students

Indigenous Studies For All Students

Greetings All!!

How the journey between birth and death is experienced is largely dictated by ones perception, with conditioning beginning at a very young age. For too long this conditioning has employed a biased view that has seen the creation of cultural stereotypes and views that achieve nothing more than erode the awareness of our natural interconnectedness.

If you believe it is time to address the imbalance that exists in our perceptions within this world then please take 2 minutes to make a difference.

1. Take 1 minute to sign the following petition to the Australian House of Representatives to legislate to make Indigenous Studies compulsory for all students. http://www.gopetition.com/online/17774.html

2. Take another minute to forward this message to all your friends in your email list.

In Peace!!!

NB. Please note that a hardcopy petition is also being generated so as to be inline with the acceptable standards to be acceptable and presentable to the House as determined by the Standing Committee on Petitions.

Monday, 17 March 2008

Youtube: Queens of Carnatic singing

The intoxicatingly beautiful vocal music of south India

Queens of Carnatic singing: Nithyasree Mahadevan: 1, 2 and 3. Sudha Ragunathan: 1, 2, 3 and 4. And the legend of the legends, M.S. Subbulakshmi, in her film appearances from decades past: 1, 2 and 3, and as an elder stateswoman of Carnatic vocal artistry: 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Online music promo article

Here's a very interesting article from the NY Times about online promotion of music:

Sex, Drugs and Updating Your Blog

Published: May 13, 2007

Jonathan Coulton sat in Gorilla Coffee in Brooklyn, his Apple PowerBook open before him, and began slogging through the day’s e-mail. Coulton is 36 and shaggily handsome. In September 2005, he quit his job as a computer programmer and, with his wife’s guarded blessing, became a full-time singer and songwriter. He set a quixotic goal for himself: for the next year, he would write and record a song each week, posting each one to his blog. “It was a sort of forced-march approach to creativity,” he admitted to me over the sound of the cafe’s cappuccino frothers. He’d always wanted to be a full-time musician, and he figured the only way to prove to himself he could do it was with a drastic challenge. “I learned that it is possible to squeeze a song out of just about anything,” he said. “But it’s not always an easy or pleasant process.” Given the self-imposed time constraints, the “Thing a Week” songs are remarkably good. Coulton tends toward geeky, witty pop tunes: one song, “Tom Cruise Crazy,” is a sympathetic ode to the fame-addled star, while “Code Monkey” is a rocking anthem about dead-end programming jobs. By the middle of last year, his project had attracted a sizable audience. More than 3,000 people, on average, were visiting his site every day, and his most popular songs were being downloaded as many as 500,000 times; he was making what he described as “a reasonable middle-class living” — between $3,000 and $5,000 a month — by selling CDs and digital downloads of his work on iTunes and on his own site.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

CD: Cheb i Sabbah - Devotion

Devotional Global Electronica

Cheb i Sabbah

Devotion (Six Degrees, 2008)

One of the masters of global electronica, Cheb i Sabbah, returns to the Indian subcontinent for inspiration with yet another extraordinary CD, his 7th, titled Devotion. Like a good wine, Cheb i Sabbah gets better with time. With the help of Indian and Pakistani musicians he delivers a rich tapestry of South Asian beats and melodies, including Bhajans, Kirtans, Bhangra, Qawwali, Hindu devotional. The seamless integration of electronics with ancient songs and instruments is not as easy as it seems, but ...

Saturday, 8 March 2008

CD: Mamak Khadem (Persian)

Forever Seeking Persian Excellence

Mamak Khadem

Jostojoo Forever Seeking (Banyan Tree Production, 2008)

Most world music fans would easily recognize Mamak Khadem’s voice by her work with the popular Persian ensemble Axiom of Choice, but that would just be a sliver of this songstress’ career. Lending her exquisite voice to movie and television soundtracks like The Peacemaker, Traffic, The Profiler and ...

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

CD: Songs from a Persian Garden

Delectable Songs From A Persian Garden

Saturday, 1 March 2008

Mongolian Overtones

In Mongolia, overtone singing (or hoomei, as it's known locally) is mainly a guy thing, but there are exceptions to the rule, for example, the Hoomei Women's Group. More commonly though, women who want to sing do so in an exquisite, soaring style like this and this. Sometimes the men do the hoomei thing while the women do that soaring thing. Then there are those lovely choral arrangements. And then there are those rare moments when the YouTube poster's description of a clip just hits the nail square on the head, as with this one: amazing.
These guys are getting throaty just outside the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

This fellow's really working those upper partials, presented in a clip that also features some glimpses of Mongolian life. Lots of horses.

N. Sengedorj of Mongolia demonstrates khöömei throat-singing.

Here's a cool little combo, with some hoomei going on.

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Yo-Yo Ma, and the Silk Road Ensemble Return to Japan

Providence (Rhode Island), USA - The Silk Road Project, a not-for-profit arts and educational organization that connects musicians, composers, artists, and audiences around the world, will send the Silk Road Ensemble and Artistic Director
Yo-Yo Ma on tour to Japan from April 19 through April 27, 2008. The concert tour, presented by the Music Plant Co., Ltd., will include performances and educational activities in Matsumoto City, Nagoya, Tokyo, Osaka and Okayama. American Express is
the lead sponsor of the Silk Road Project in Japan.

Commenting on the upcoming tour, Yo-Yo Ma, acclaimed cellist and founder of the Silk Road Project, stated, "I am delighted to return to Japan with ...

Saturday, 9 February 2008

CD: Deepak Ram (jazz bansuri)

Stepping Away From Tradition

Deepak Ram

Steps (Golden Horn Records GHP 031-2, 2008)

India's bamboo bansuri flute is hardly a jazz instrument, but that doesn't stop South African-born Indian musician from using it to
lead the way on the set of jazz covers and originals that comprise Steps. Ram embraced jazz before Indian music and retained his love for the former even after studying with bansuri master Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia.

Armed with the understanding that a certain degree of improvisation is integral to both types of music, he sought to combine
them. There were no doubt some tricky nuances and specifics involved in the task, but Ram pulled it off. The result is this sweetly engaging CD, on which Ram is joined by Vic ...

Thursday, 7 February 2008

CD: Between Heaven and Earth Songs of Love and Devotion from India and Pakistan

Enchanted Imaginings of Impossible Journeys

Razia Aziz

Between Heaven and Earth Songs of Love and Devotion from India and Pakistan ( Arc Music, 2008)

One of the marks of a good CD is the distance the listener can travel on the musical landscape. As luck would have it listeners have a pure pleasure excursion waiting for them with Razia Aziz's Between Heaven and Earth Songs of Love and Devotion from India and Pakistan*. The combination of Razia Aziz's distinctive vocals; Ustad Fida Hussain Khan's rich compositions and accompaniment on the harmonium; master ...

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

CD/Tour: Toumani Diabate

Twenty years after his international debut release, Toumani Diabaté brings out The Mandé Variations and performs at WOMADelaide on March 7th.
Full story...

Sunday, 3 February 2008

Scientific Evidence for Psi

The Scientific Evidence for Psi (is most likely stronger than you think)

My goal in this blog is to convince you to read Damien Broderick's book Outside the Gates of Science: Why It's Time for the Paranormal to Come in From the Cold.

Reviewing a host of research done by others over many decades, the book makes a remarkably and excitingly strong case that psi phenomena are worthy of intensive further investigation....

Friday, 1 February 2008

Book: Traveling Spirit Master (Gnawa music)

All About the Gnawa

Deborah Kapchan has spent years studying the music of the Gnawa and its relationship with the recording industry. Her book Traveling Spirit Master is an wide-ranging excursion into one of the most fascinating trance music genres in the globe. As the subtitle, Moroccan Gnawa Trance and Music in the Global Market Place, implies, Kapchan goes beyond the study of Gnawa music. The book provides details about how Gnawa music has traveled beyond Morocco's borders, into Europe and North America and its economic implications.

France has received millions of Moroccans and, thus, Gnawa music traveled with them. There are numerous French acts that perform some sort of Gna...

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

David Byrne's Survival Strategies for Emerging Artists — and Megastars

David Byrne discusses various models of sharing the proceeds from producing and distributing music in Wired magazine...

Full disclosure: I used to own a record label. That label, Luaka Bop, still exists, though I'm no longer involved in running it. My last record came out through Nonesuch, a subsidiary of the Warner Music Group empire. I have also released music through indie labels like Thrill Jockey, and I have pressed up CDs and sold them on tour. I tour every few years, and I don't see it as simply a loss leader for CD sales. So I have seen this business from both sides. I've made money, and I've been ripped off. I've had creative freedom, and I've been pressured to make hits. I have dealt with diva behavior from crazy musicians, and I have seen genius records by wonderful artists get completely ignored. I love music. I always will. It saved my life, and I bet I'm not the only one who can say that.

What is called the music business today, however, is not the business of producing music. At some point it became the business of selling CDs in plastic cases, and that business will soon be over. But that's not bad news for music, and it's certainly not bad news for musicians. Indeed, with all the ways to reach an audience, there have never been more opportunities for artists.

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

CD: Trio Joubran (Palestinian oud trio)

The Meaning of the Ouds

Le Trio Joubran

Majaz (Randana Rand 002, 2007)

Inspired by the music of well known guitar trios, the Joubran brothers decided to do the same with ouds. Samir, Wissam and Adnan are three Palestinian brothers who have taken the oud ( also known as 'ud) to new heights On Majaz, released on the Joubran's artist-owned label, the virtuoso musicians improvise music with three ouds and percussion, based on ancient Arabic techniques. There are also elements of Flamenco, which seems to be...

Saturday, 26 January 2008

CD: Winds of Devotion (Native American + Tibetan flutes)

Tibetan and Navajo-Ute Stillness

R. Carlos Nakai & Nawang Khechog

Winds of Devotion (Sounds True, 2007)

Two of the best known flute players in the world music field, collaborate on Winds of Devotion. Native American R. Carlos Nakai is one of the most prolific American Indian musicians and he is famous for his collaborations with musicians from many other cultures. This time he joins forces with Tibet...